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Oregon is more than 60% public lands, with a huge diversity of lands to ride on. Some of the “designated riding areas” provide a high level of trail maintenance, signs, maps and staging area facilities. While there are other areas open to ATV use, they offer a lower level of service that provide opportunities for exploration and solitude.
Oregon has 54 designated riding areas. Most of these areas receive regular funding from fuel taxes and ATV sticker sales. Visit our Where To Ride Map for more information about each area. Most areas have maps you can access online and sometimes save them as a PDF file that you can use on your cell phone without service.Here are some of the main riding areas in Oregon:
Outside of these designated areas, you will also find other individual trails and gravel roads which are open to ATV use. Make sure you follow the land managers rule in each area.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) has inventoried all their roads and trails and designed them as either open or close to ATV use. You can find Motor Vehicle Use Maps at each USFS district office. Since there are thousands of miles of road and trails, they are not all marked on the ground and the maps are needed to know which routes are open. Routes that are open can vary from forest to forest.
In some areas a paved USFS road might be open to ATV use to make a connection between trails. While in another area a rugged dirt or gravel road might be closed due to resource concerns or reduce user conflicts.
Generally, 2 lane gravel roads are closed to ATV use unless posted open. Some of the popular areas are ODNRA, East Fort Rock, Winom-Frazier, Mt Hood, Walla-Whitman, Prospect, Santiam Pass.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of their Travel Management process. There are huge areas in Eastern Oregon with hundreds of miles of land to explore. Please stay on designed routes and close gates, since there is active cattle ranching.
BLM has several popular riding areas, including Shotgun Creek, Upper Nestucca, Medford area, Virtue Flat, Millican Valley, Cline Buttes.
Most gravel roads are open unless posted closed. Two lane gravel roads are usually closed unless posted open. There are a couple places that paved roads are open to make connections.
Oregon Department of Forestry manages the Tillamook State Forest which is a popular ATV riding area about 1 hour west of Portland. Other State Forests include Clatsop State Forest, Santiam State Forest, Gilchrist State Forest. These area's gravel road are open unless posted closed
Counties in Oregon may create ordinances which allow ATV use on paved roads which are managed by the county. This does not include State Highways.
There are 4 counties in Oregon: Lake, Baker, Grant and Union which have wide spread routes open to ATV use but still have a few roads closed to ATV use, due to high levels of car and truck traffic. Several other counties in Oregon have designated individual routes to create connections. They are Douglas County and Umatilla County.
All counties require adults to have driver licenses and liability insurance. Youth are not allowed to operate on paved county roads.
Cities can pass their own ordinance to allow ATV use roads inside their city limits expect for State Highways.There are a number of small eastern Oregon cites that allow ATV use. Some include Lakeview, Sumpter, Detroit, John Day.
Most cities require adults to have a driver license and liability insurance. Youth are not allowed to operate on paved city roads.
Most cities have a State Highway that pass through the middle of town. Even if all the city streets are open, the State Highway is still closed to ATV use.
You may cross a State Highway at locations where the intercepting county/city roads are open to ATV use. Cities vary whether they only allow side-by-sides, quads and/or motorcycles.
Oregon has a process to look at State Highways and potentially open them to ATV use. These routes are intended to be incidental and provide connections to areas that are open to ATV use. Currently the only designated State Highway is .8 mile of Spinreel Road (the old highway 101) located near the Town of Lakeside to provide a connection between local residents and Spinreel OHV Area for dunes access. To find out more information about potential Highway Access Routes, contact Ian Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 541-410-5512.
In Oregon, ATVs cannot be registered as street legal unless they were manufactured for highway use. These would include dual sport motorcycles, trucks or SUVs.
Dirt bikes, ATVs and side-by-sides cannot become street legal even if you install mirrors, turn signals, a horn and brake lights.
License plates issued by other states (such as Arizona) for ATVs and side-by-side are not valid for highway use. Those license plates are only valid in those states.
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